This of course brings all kinds of issues that didn't occur to me initially. How do we move the big playset? How will we assemble the bunny barn at the new house if the ground is frozen and we can't sink the anchors in? What about all of my perennial things that I want to take with me? My irises, tulips, chokecherry, raspberries, show-on-the-mountain, and the rhubarb I just planted this year? If I dig it up now, it will be too late to plant it in December, and if I wait, it will be too late to dig it up. And of course, the kids are in the middle of the school year in December.
The school thing is a real sticking point for Tony. His family moved twice while he was in school, and it was very hard on him. Because some (if not all) of our kids are affected by Aspergers (high functioning form of autism) the change could be much worse for them. Not wanting to have a catastrophic meltdown on all levels, we are now actually considering the hare-brained idea of temporary split custody. The rough details would involve me moving to the new house with whatever we can move out there initially and all of the stuff from the boys' room. I would take #2 because he is schooled from home, and #5 because he requires round-the-clock supervision (remember, he's two), and possibly #4 as she also can be high maintenance and difficult for her older sisters to work with. Miss #4 would go to a new school, catching a bus from the new house to the new school system, and I would stay at the new house with the boys all day. Meanwhile, Tony would stay in our current home with #1 and #3 so they could finish off their school year where they're already enrolled. On days that he works late, they are capable of making their own dinner, and both have proven themselves able to wake up and get ready for school in the morning with little to no prompting. One of them can walk to school and the other catches a bus. Even on the days Tony works open shift, he could wake them up before he leaves and they could get ready on their own, locking the door when they leave.
I'll be honest, I don't like the idea. I'm not sold on it at all. I don't want to be two counties away and I don't want to break up our family, even if it's only for a few months and we'd still be moving things at least once a week and every other weekend. I just don't like the idea of being that far away. What if #4 misses her bus? What if #3 misses her bus? What if our power goes out - which means I have no way to call Tony to let him know? And that would mean paying twice the bills. We'd be paying for electricity and garbage pick up and internet to two homes on top of the new car payment and the mortgage payment. And the new house is propane heated, which means that much more expense right around the holidays. I already told the kids that Christmas will be very small this year - your Christmas gift is a new house - which may mean you won't get anything to unwrap under the tree. They all seemed to be OK with this, though #4 did clarify - "We still get presents from Santa, right?" - Yes, of course! We will jut have to let Santa know which house to deliver them to.
That said, if Tony stays at the current house until spring for the girls to finish their school year out, that means my garden isn't a problem. We can dig up and transplant in spring. It would mean fewer Aspergian meltdowns due to the stress of moving half-way through the school year, and that's always a plus. It would give me the opportunity to have a quieter home for a while - with no arguing between #3 and #4. I could bring Aspie with me. Yesterday he proved himself an amazing service dog by finding me (having said Aspergian meltdown) and laid right next to me on the kitchen floor until I felt better. Little moments like this when he knows what to do and does it automatically remind me so much of my Nadia and how amazing our bond was. I see more and more of this behavior in Aspie. He's definitely meant to be my service dog.
This also puts a bit of an odd angle on my side projects. I have a garage and basement full of stuff to sell. Things people have given me, stuff I picked up at estate auctions, the kids' stuff they no longer wear or play with, stuff my friends and family have given me to sell... Now I am left needing to either sell it all by December 5th, or live in a strange hiatus all winter - I can't pack it all up and bring it to the new house... but if I'm at the new house, I can't very well get it listed onto eBay or Bonanza or Craigslist or whatever to get it sold either. I've long procrastinated going through some of this stuff and I have a large backlog of "stuff" that needs to be gone through. Some of it is ready to sell, some is dusty or dirty and needs a wipe down, a dip in sanitizing solution, a bit of a scrub, or a run through the wash machine. Typically I don't like working on it in the winter (too cold in the garage, too cluttered in the house), and I have so much going on in the summer that I pretty much forget about it as I'm outside all the time or busy with kids. I've made minor progress here and there trudging through boxes, but I have Asperger's as well, which means I tend to hyper-focus. When I list things for sale, I can't just toss it up for 99-cent and hope for good bids... No, I have to look up every aspect of the item - when was it made, what did it sell for originally, what is the sales history on eBay, how many are available through different venues, which venue offers the best price and the least competition with the highest sell rate, should I list it on eBay, Amazon, Bonanza, Craigslist, or somewhere else? Then I need to take photos from every possible angle, crop the photos and measure everything... And that's not even counting the time to write up a detailed description that could bore any historian or librarian in existence. As you can tell, I overthink everything (if that hasn't shown up in my blog posts by now). Everything takes longer than it should. I think I may have to make some decisions to speed list items, or not research them as well and hope for the best just to get stuff moved out. Then (again because of the hyper-focusing) I worry that if I'm spending my time listing stuff to get rid of it, I will miss out on something else (like packing things we need to move to the new house). Sometimes I feel like I'm dropping more than I'm juggling, especially when that darn attention thing comes up - but it seems to happen most often when I'm stressed out or when I don't have any specific things that need to be done... like now. I kind of feel like a hamster on a wheel - I'm running but not really accomplishing much.
My garden ideas are running wild... An asparagus patch, fruit trees (cherries, apricots, plums, etc.), grapes, maybe some nut varieties, more berry varieties (golden raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries, etc.) and almost endless space to garden the more standard garden fare (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, peas, squash, corn, etc.
And of course, no homestead is complete without chickens... But those will have to wait. I need to do a lot of research before we invest in yet another variety of animal - no matter how useful they are. I suspect I will be very busy this winter and likely all summer too, so maybe we can consider chickens in 2018... If I can maintain my self control that long. We shall see. It really depends on when I have time to do the research and what it takes financially and space wise to keep them safely and effectively. I had originally wanted free-range chickens, but they tend to get taken by predators and they get into the garden and destroy plants. Now I'm wondering if a chicken tractor is a good idea. I'm learning more and more as I research it, but I'm not ready to delve into it quite yet. I'm also finding that if you keep a goose with your chickens it can act as predator control. Kind of like a mule or llama kept in your goat or cow pen I guess. It's all a learning curve and I'm working on getting educated. I have time though. I'm in no rush to buy chickens at this point.